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Department 1



Learn about a library-led activity designed to empower undergraduate students to advocate for OER at the course level. The exercise helps students research alternative materials and invites them to write a letter to a professor suggesting replacement of commercial course materials with zero-cost or affordable materials.

The Gettysburg College Library offers a one-semester career exploration in which undergraduate interns learn about all facets of academic library work. A key goal for the Scholarly Communications department’s contribution is for students to understand the current landscape of textbook publishing, including OER, affordable alternatives, and publisher-led initiatives, in order to effectively advocate for sustainable, accessible, high-quality materials. A structured activity helps students learn about the range of OER that are available to support college courses and then asks students to begin developing an advocate’s voice. A librarian will share more information about the internship and this specific exercise. Next, a spring 2022 intern will explain how he tackled the research required for the exercise and ultimately sent personal letters to two professors advocating for them to adopt alternative, zero-cost titles in place of commercial textbooks. He will also explain what the process taught him about open textbooks and student advocacy.

Attend to hear how professors responded upon receiving these letters! This activity is scalable to different types of institutions. It will be shared with an open license, in hopes that other ALPA schools will use it or adapt it for local use.


Presented at the 4th Annual Affordable Learning Summit, part of Affordable Learning Pennsylvania

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License